Check-in Before Checking Out

Wow. It’s finally here. For about the past year and a half, this is what has helped keep my sights set forward and my feet moving. I remember hanging up the “Sights of Italy” calendar my mom got me before moving back to Gustavus this Fall. A picture of the Piazza della Signoria in the center of Firenze looked me in the face every morning this past September. I’m in a surreal state of mind that after tomorrow everything will be very different for me.

Tomorrow, I take off to Europe. I’ll start my trip by visiting my cousin and her family in Bielefeld, Germany, and spending a little time in Amsterdam with her. Then, on the 31st I fly to Florence, where I will be studying at Lorenzo de’ Medici. I’ll be taking Italian Language courses (doing my Italian roots proud), an Italian Crime Fiction course, and two different culinary classes, one on Mediterranean vegetarian cuisine and another on Italian nutrition and cooking.

Yeah, I still don’t believe all of that either. I’ve wanted to run away to Italy to become a chef since I first heard Giada de Laurentiis pronounce rigatoni “ree-gah-TOH-neh”. That was around the time I fell in love with food in general. Toss in an Italian family and memories of visiting our nonni’s sausage factory, and I’m hooked to the idea. I promise, I’m not going to go too ham gushing over how cool I think food is on this blog (my roommate gets enough during random 1am outbursts). What I am going to say though, is that food is an art. It utilizes all of the five senses throughout the culinary process. Food is also the best way I know how to exhibit love. My mother’s favorite artist, Brian Andreas, has a quotation that reads:

There are things you do because they feel right & they may make no sense & they may make no money & it may be the real reason we are here: to love each other & to eat each other’s cooking & say it was good.

To love and to eat. Di amare e di mangiare. I’d say that’s a fairly sound way to live.

Even writing all of this down right now, I find it difficult to imagine what tomorrow will be like. I feel like I’m about to finish letting out a two and a half year long breath, and that I am about to take another one. A new life’s about to begin.

So, as you can probably tell by reading this, I have no idea where this blog is going. But, it’s going to be here. I’m just putting it all out there, wanting to share, and also wanting to document. Thanks for taking the time to read – and feel free to comment. I’d love to hear back from some of you.

Also, let me know if I’m doing this whole blog thing right.

Ciao!

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4 thoughts on “Check-in Before Checking Out

  1. Letting you go today to explore this new chapter. Sad, and yet inspired and excited to watch it unfold for and with you. Be mindful each day and soak it all in. Know that I love you. XO #proudmom

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  2. Wow, Gino! How wonderful for you! Safe travels and adventures. I will look forward to seeing more posts. I may never travel to Italy, so it will be nice to see it through your eyes and taste buds.

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    1. Your calmness amid your excitement proves to me how mature and ready for new adventure you really are. I’m so excited for these new experiences and the knowledge you will acquire. So, so proud to be your dad. Love you tons!!

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